Resident brings questions to Keyser City Council
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - A Keyser resident who said she represented several citizens with questions for the Keyser mayor and council received a response from the mayor that he was “ready to step down,” that night, but also spawned several votes of confidence from members of the audience.
Cathy Bridges, who had passionately pleaded with the mayor and council during the Sept. 9 meeting to not remove member William Zacot from the council, was back again during the Sept. 23 meeting, saying she had taken to social media to ask if anyone had any questions for the city officials.
The council, in fact, did not take any action on removing Zacot, but he did turn in his resignation later to mayor Damon Tillman, who has been visibly affected by the ongoing issue and criticisms that have come with it.
During the Sept. 23 meeting, he told the crowd he was “willing to come here tonight and step down … because I think I was holding the city back.”
He spoke of accusations made against himself and others and the affect it has had on those around him, especially on social media.
“My children see people saying I’m a thief, that I’m crooked and I’m shady, but I can tell you this,” he said. “Even when Mr. Zacot was here, there’s not one person here that stole from the City of Keyser.”
Bridges advised Tillman to not “worry about the haters. I think you’d make a very big mistake if you stepped down.”
Resident Curtis Perry, who has been critical of the city in various paid ads in the News Tribune, agreed with Bridges, saying, “I do too, mayor.”
As for questions the people might have for Tillman or any of the council members, Bridges said, “I asked for questions on Facebook.”
One of the first questions she received was if there was any way the council could livestream its meetings so the public could watch online.
Mayor Damon Tillman told her the council did at one time livestream its meetings, but he would rather the public came to the meetings in person than complain about issues online.
“It caused the keyboard warriors to get on there and run their mouths,” he said.
“I’d rather they come here and do it,” he said of the meetings. “Come here, state your issue, and have a solution to suggestion.”
Council member Jennifer Junkins did note, however, that anyone who wishes to can record or livestream the meetings, as they are open to the public.
On another subject, Bridges asked if some “Children at Play” signs could be erected in neighborhoods where motorists seem to be speeding a lot and placing children’s lives in danger.
Councilman Jim Hannas, who is also the city’s streets and sewers supervisor, said however that, “They recommend you do not put ‘Children at Play’ signs up because people get used to seeing them” and ignore them.
A third question asked by Bridges was the possibility of the city holding a trash pickup day so people could clean up their properties.
Hannas noted, however, that when the city held clean up days in the past, and placed dumpsters around for people to get rid of their trash, it was quite costly for the city.
“It runs right around $40,000 for the City of Keyser,” he said.